Summer is almost here, and that means it’s time for me to be shopping for deals on life jackets, towable tubes, water-skis, and my new sport, paddle boarding. In the past, I had a lot of trouble finding websites where I could find water sports and boating equipment at reasonable prices. The fact is there was reluctance for many merchants to go online until recently. Part of the fun of buying water sports equipment is going to the stores with your family and seeing what’s new.
As we all know, everything that is sold in stores is going to be sold online, whether new or secondhand. Having bought less than perfect merchandise online, I learned a lot about how to buy it new, but at cheaper prices. If you frequently shop online you can find some incredible deals from coupons.answers.com.
Here are 7 tips on buying online the right way:
1. Take the time to research properly. Every outdoor water sports product you hope to buy online will come with resources – they just might not be located all online. Make sure you look around and see what information you can find in promotional materials, as well as magazine articles in the boating and sports industry. Know what you are buying so you won’t have questions later.
2. Think twice before shopping the secondhand market. Because of the proliferation of secondhand websites and community pages, you might think that picking up boat towables or other items secondhand is a good move. While you could save money doing it this way, you don’t want to compromise safety in any way. For these items, I always buy them new, and not used.
3. Check out reviews. Online reviews can be tricky when you discover the motivation of different reviewers. However, unanimous reviews into the hundreds or other overwhelming trends should be recognized. If you can trust the source, online reviews will help immensely. Be sure to also check reviews for the item in YouTube and Facebook.
4. Add up the extras to see the real price. When you see an attractive price online, you have to factor in what else is going to be added. Shipping and handling, taxes, insurance and other charges could make the good price become far less reasonable when it’s all said and done. Before you decide a product is right for you, go through the purchasing screens to find out the real price.
5. Know the dimensions. When you look at these materials on a computer screen, sometimes it’s hard to get an idea of the real size. Ideally, you’ll know a place where you can look at the product in person, or can compare with items you already own. Unless you know the size of boating tubes or towing lines, you can end up wasting your time by getting the wrong size or length.
6. Ask friends for recommendations. Do you realize that we are relying on the advice of strangers every time we look at an online review? It is a curious fact, so remember that your friends might be able to offer better advice. Whether it is a waterproof handheld GPS you can take on a boat, or a simple inflatable tube for the kids, ask around among people you know who like boating and water sports.
7. Keep an eye out for the latest. When you are dealing with products that change the game in the industry, you have to keep your eyes open for launches and other events. I have seen remarkable deals come up for new products that never sold at that price again. After your homework is finished, make a final sweep and see if the product is still at the top.
It took me so many returns and exchanges to learn these rules that I hope you will take my advice before shopping for water sports equipment online. Even though you might see a deal that looks great, remember that you’ll never know for sure until it arrives at your house and you take it out in the water. Know before you buy and make sure every decision is informed.
“A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” –William Feather
Jane Warren is a writer and recreational water sports enthusiast who spends plenty of time testing out the products she buys online. Jane always gets a good deal online. Check out her reviews at www.towabletubesdirect.com.